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Monday, 20 November 2017

Retro Review: China O' Brien (1990)

China O'Brien
Cast: Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Keith Cooke, Doug Wright, Nije
Genre: Martial Arts

'Golden Harvest's Martial Arts Cheapie'

Directed by the same person who did the Bruce Lee epic, Enter The Dragon & the unmemorable Gymkata and produced by Hong Kong's Golden Harvest, the home of Jackie Chan & Bruce Lee, China O'Brien is a low-budget martial arts romp, well, kind of starring U.S karate champion, Cynthia Rothrock as a cop who returns to her hometown to kick ass and take out the trash, after her father, a sheriff of the town, is murdered.

Along the way, she gets reacquainted with an old flame, who also happens to be a martial artist and a native Indian named Dakota played by Keith Cooke. Cooke is of mixed Japanese and American descent and he displays some nice moves. 

Besides the fight scenes, the story in China O'Brien is boring and dreary with some hokey and dodgy acting and a crummy script to accompany it. After the tremendous Yes,Madam! with Michelle Yeoh and The Millionaire's Club, Rothrock is taken down a peg or two through this poor action martial arts offering. Although she gets to beat up a guy who looks like Bluto from Popeye in one sequence. The fights themselves are not great, although, from a Golden Harvest perspective, it isn't all that great, even with the editing

By taking away the fights, this would be an even more terrible as a film and it would have nothing left going for it. It just feels that as I was sitting through this, it felt empty. I felt nothing for it. 

Even with this film produced by Golden Harvest, the director of this film hardly gives the actors any flair to work with, with the fight scenes looking pedestrian and drab. The exception being the gym fight, which was all right. The further the story went on, the more uninterested I became and I just let all the dull dialogue go over my head. 

I prefer Cynthia Rothrock and Richard Norton in the first Rage & Honor over this borefest: boring story, fights and martial arts on display are boring, along with boring performances.

This is a low-grade version of the Patrick Swayze flick, Roadhouse, which came out the year before, mixed in with Walker: Texas Ranger.  

Final Verdict:

Was looking forward to this movie as something that could become a cult action B-movie, China O' Brien is virtually and thoroughly lacklustre in every department, which really by the time it came to the end, it was truly not worth it.

I'd skip this one. 


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